“You wouldn’t believe how many kids failed gym when I was in high school. It was the easiest class, next to lunch!”
“Some think, ‘Why run around outside in the hot sun until you’re sweaty and tired when you can play a video game that allows you to pretend you’re someone else doing that?’ ”—Ruth, 22.
If you feel similarly, consider three payoffs to having a good exercise program.
Payoff 1. Exercise boosts your immune system. “
My father always said, ‘If you can’t find time to exercise, you’d better find time to be sick,’ ” says 19-year-old Rachel.
Payoff 2. Exercise releases chemicals into the brain that calm you.“
Running is a good release when I have a lot on my mind,” says Emily, aged 16. “
Physically I feel refreshed, and emotionally it’s a great relief.”
Payoff 3. Exercise can increase your fun. “
I love the outdoors,” says Ruth, “
so my exercise includes hiking, swimming, snowboarding, and biking.”
Secret to Success: Devote at least 20 minutes three times a week to a vigorous physical activity that you enjoy.
Remember this: While genetics play a role, your physical condition is often determined by the lifestyle you choose. So when you say “I need to exercise,” the choice is yours; you can do something about it!